PHRESH - Public Health Research Epidemiology Surveillance
Hemoglobin E, a mutation of the beta globin gene, is probably the most common hemoglobin variant in the world. It is particularly common in India and Southeast Asia. The carrier state for Hemoglobin E (or Hb EE heterozygote) is clinically normal with minor hematologic changes. Homozygotes for Hemoglobin EE have a very mild anemia but are well. However, people who are compound heterozygotes for Hemoglobin E with Beta Thalassemia Trait have a serious clinical disorder. The symptoms can range from mild anemia to severe anemia requiring chronic transfusions.
Hemoglobin E is not evenly distributed among Asian groups. Below is an analysis from the State of California Newborn Screening Program of the carrier rate for Hemoglobin E (carrier or heterozygote is asymptomatic).
Hemoglobin E is not evenly distributed among Asians
|• Cambodian Hb E carriers:||1 in 4|
|• Thai Hb E carriers:||1 in 9|
|• Laotian Hb E carriers:||1 in 10|
|• Vietnamese Hb E carriers:||1 in 39|
|• Hmong Hb E carriers:||1 in 61|
|• Asian Indian Hb E carriers:||1 in 114|
|• Filipino:||1 in 188|
|• Chinese:||1 in 254|
|• Korean:||1 in 786|
|• Japanese:||1 in 2,221|
(from: Lorey F. Asian Immigration and Public Health in California: Thalassemia in Newborns in California. Journal of pediatric hematology/oncology (2000) volume: 22 issue: 6 page: 564-566 - Table 1)